U Wernery

Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Dubai, Dubayy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Publications (100)123.26 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of subtype H5N1 have continued to perpetuate with divergent genetic variants in poultry within Asia since 2003. Further dissemination of Asian origin-derived H5 HPAI viruses to Europe, Africa and, most recently, to the North American continent, have occurred. We report an outbreak of HPAI H5N1 virus among falcons kept for hunting and other wild bird species bred as falcon prey from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during fall 2014. The causative agent was identified as avian influenza virus H5N1 subtype, clade, by genetic and phylogenetic analyses. High mortality in infected birds was in accordance with systemic pathomorphological and histological alterations in affected falcons. Genetics analysis showed the HPAI H5N1 of clade is a reassortant in which the PB2 segment was derived from an Asian origin H9N2 virus lineage. The Dubai H5N1 viruses were closely related to contemporary H5N1 HPAI viruses from Nigeria, Burkina-Faso, Romania and Bulgaria. Median-joining network analysis of viruses revealed that the Dubai outbreak was an episode of a westward spread of these viruses on a larger scale from unidentified Asian sources. The incursion into Dubai, possibly via infected captive hunting falcons returning from hunting trips to central Asian countries, preceded outbreaks in Nigeria and other Western African countries. The alarmingly enhanced geographic mobility of clade and clade viruses may represent another wave of transcontinental dissemination of Asian origin HPAIV H5 viruses, such as the outbreak at Qinghai lake caused by the clade 2.2 ("Qinghai" lineage) in 2005.
    Journal of General Virology 09/2015; DOI:10.1099/jgv.0.000274 · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • B. Johnson · M. Joseph · Sh. Jose · S. Jose · J. Kinne · U. Wernery
    Journal of Camel Practice and Research 01/2015; 22(1):55. DOI:10.5958/2277-8934.2015.00008.9 · 0.09 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Camel Practice and Research 01/2015; 22(1):33. DOI:10.5958/2277-8934.2015.00006.5 · 0.09 Impact Factor
  • U. Wernery
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    ABSTRACT: The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) caused by a coronavirus emerged in the Middle East in 2012, and has killed so far more than 300 people most of them in Saudi Arabia. MERS is a zoonotic disease and transmission from the dromedary camel to humans has been documented. However, most cases occur between humans. The low incidence of transmission from camel to human has several reasons. The virus is excreted only for 8 days and mainly young dromedaries are infected which have very little or no contact to their caretakers. It has yet not been proven how and from where the calves get there infection. Over 90% of adult dromedaries possess specific MERS-CoV antibodies and do not shed the virus. Thirty dromedaries (15 dams and 15 calves) were tested at the Saudi Arabian border to the UAE for MERS-CoV infection. All dams had seroconverted, but were PCR and virus negative. However, 13 of their offsprings had antibodies to MERS-CoV, 11 (73%) were positive in PCR and from 5 (33%) MERS-CoV was isolated. A visit 8 days later showed that all had seroconverted, 4 (27%) remained PCR positive but none exhibited virus in their nasal cavities.
    Journal of Camel Practice and Research 06/2014; 21(1):1. DOI:10.5958/2277-8934.2014.00001.0 · 0.09 Impact Factor
  • U. Wernery · K. Pfister · R. Marina · F. Hakimudin · C. Silaghi
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    ABSTRACT: Haemotrophic mycoplasmosis or haemoplasmosis, caused by the haemotrophic mycoplasma species Candidatus Mycoplasma haemolamae (formerly Haemobartonella), has been described in both Old World camels (OWCs) and New World camels (NWCs) from different countries. Camelid anaplasmosis (formerly Ehrlichiosis) caused by Anaplasma marginale has been described in OWCs only. Knowledge of these pathogens in camels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is missing. We investigated 55 clinically healthy, but slightly anaemic dromedaries in the UAE for the occurrence of haemotrophic mycoplasmas and Anaplasma marginale using blood smear investigations and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the blood smears, neither of the two pathogens was detectable and the investigations using PCR methods did not reveal any DNA from Cand. M. haemolamae or A. marginale in 55 slightly anaemic UAE dromedaries. So far, the cause of anaemia in those dromedaries remains to be further analysed.
    Journal of Camel Practice and Research 06/2014; 21(1). DOI:10.5958/2277-8934.2014.00002.2 · 0.09 Impact Factor
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    S Alexandersen · G P Kobinger · G Soule · U Wernery
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    ABSTRACT: We tested, using a low starting dilution, sequential serum samples from dromedary camels, sheep and horses collected in Dubai from February/April to October of 2005 and from dromedary camels for export/import testing between Canada and USA in 2000-2001. Using a standard Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) neutralization test, serial sera from three sheep and three horses were all negative while sera from 9 of 11 dromedary camels from Dubai were positive for antibodies supported by similar results in a MERS-CoV recombinant partial spike protein antibody ELISA. The two negative Dubai camels were both dromedary calves and remained negative over the 5 months studied. The six dromedary samples from USA and Canada were negative in both tests. These results support the recent findings that infection with MERS-CoV or a closely related virus is not a new occurrence in camels in the Middle East. Therefore, interactions of MERS-CoV at the human-animal interface may have been ongoing for several, perhaps many, years and by inference, a widespread pandemic may be less likely unless significant evolution of the virus allow accelerated infection and spread potential in the human population.
    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 01/2014; 61(2). DOI:10.1111/tbed.12212 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    11/2013; 173(24). DOI:10.1136/vr.101883
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    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 10/2013; 28(2). DOI:10.1038/leu.2013.292 · 10.43 Impact Factor
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    Dataset: 2313suppl
  • U Wernery · J Kinne
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is a chronic, contagious, granulomatous disease caused by mycobacterial species belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Camelids were not considered highly susceptible to tuberculosis, but in recent years increased numbers of cases have been experienced in some countries. In most of the cases, transmission probably occurs through contact with infected cattle or wildlife. None of the ante-mortem tests currently available can consistently provide accurate diagnosis of the infection in live camelids. Recently developed serological assays have the potential for rapid and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis but still need to be validated.
    Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics) 12/2012; 31(3):899-906. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • U Wernery · J Kinne
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    ABSTRACT: Foot and mouth disease (FMD) remains the most important animal disease. The FMD virus is highly contagious and occurs almost exclusively among cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, Bactrian camels and swine. Old World camels (OWCs) and New World camels (NWCs) inhabit FMD-endemic countries in South America, North and East Africa, and the Middle and Far East. Results of experimental infection of OWCs with the virus, and several clinical observations from the field over a century, confirm that the two closely related camel species of Bactrian and dromedary camels possess noticeably different susceptibilities to FMD. It is now certain that Bactrian camels can contract the disease. In contrast, dromedaries are not susceptible to FMD and do not transmit infection, even when in close contact with susceptible animals. The susceptibility of NWCs to the FMD virus has been demonstrated in the field and in experimental infection trials. However, these animals are not very susceptible and do not represent a serious risk in transmitting FMD to susceptible animal species.
    Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics) 12/2012; 31(3):907-18. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • C Liu · J Zu · V Baskar · U Wernery · I K Chang
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of interspecific egg white on the development of chicken embryos was investigated in a surrogate eggshell culture system. Egg yolks were separated from fertile White Leghorn chicken eggs and cultured in different egg whites from turkey (group TK), guineafowl (group GF), and duck (group DK), and chicken (group CK) was used as control. The viability of chicken embryos in groups CK, TK, GF, and DK after 3 d culture in system II was 98.3, 90.2, 96.1, and 91.1%. The whole contents (egg yolk and surrogate egg white) were further transferred into an eggshell from a 1.5 times heavier chicken egg with air space (system III), and incubated for further 16 d, before moving them to a hatcher. No significant difference between the 4 groups was found in their viabilities, which ranged between 72.9 and 81.3%, until 14 d postincubation (P > 0.05). After 21 d, the viability decreased to 60.4, 57.4, 50.0, and 27.7% in groups CK, TK, GF, and DK. The viability in group DK was significantly lower than in the other groups (P < 0.05). Weight loss in system III was approximately 12% in all the 4 groups without significant difference (P > 0.05). Hatchability of the chicken embryo was 60.4, 55.3, 47.9, and 19.1% in groups CK, TK, GF, and DK, respectively, and that in group DK was significantly lower than in the other groups (P < 0.05). There was no difference between the other groups (P > 0.05). These results show that chicken embryos can develop to hatch in duck, guineafowl, and turkey egg whites. However, the hatchability decreases according to the phylogenetic distance. The present study will provide a tool for manipulation of avian embryos and eventual conservation of endangered wild birds.
    Poultry Science 11/2012; 91(11):2866-71. DOI:10.3382/ps.2012-02403 · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • U. Wernery · R. Wernery
    Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 10/2012; 32(10):S81. DOI:10.1016/j.jevs.2012.08.172 · 0.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: A noninvasive tool allowing the detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is highly needed. By combining nanomolar affinities and fast blood clearance, nanobodies represent potential radiotracers for cardiovascular molecular imaging. Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM1) constitutes a relevant target for molecular imaging of atherosclerotic lesions. Objective: We aimed to generate, radiolabel, and evaluate anti-VCAM1 nanobodies for noninvasive detection of atherosclerotic lesions. Methods and Results: Ten anti-VCAM1 nanobodies were generated, radiolabeled with technetium-99m, and screened in vitro on mouse and human recombinant VCAM1 proteins and endothelial cells and in vivo in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice. A nontargeting control nanobody was used in all experiments to demonstrate specificity. All nanobodies displayed nanomolar affinities for murine VCAM1. Flow cytometry analyses using human human umbilical vein endothelial cells indicated murine and human VCAM1 cross-reactivity for 6 of 10 nanobodies. The lead compound cAbVCAM1-5 was cross-reactive for human VCAM1 and exhibited high lesion-to-control (4.95±0.85), lesion-to-heart (8.30±1.11), and lesion-to-blood ratios (4.32±0.48) (P<0.05 versus control C57Bl/6J mice). Aortic arch atherosclerotic lesions of ApoE(-/-) mice were successfully identified by single-photon emission computed tomography imaging. (99m)Tc-cAbVCAM1-5 binding specificity was demonstrated by in vivo competition experiments. Autoradiography and immunohistochemistry further confirmed cAbVCAM1-5 uptake in VCAM1-positive lesions. Conclusions: The (99m)Tc-labeled, anti-VCAM1 nanobody cAbVCAM1-5 allowed noninvasive detection of VCAM1 expression and displayed mouse and human cross-reactivity. Therefore, this study demonstrates the potential of nanobodies as a new class of radiotracers for cardiovascular applications. The nanobody technology might evolve into an important research tool for targeted imaging of atherosclerotic lesions and has the potential for fast clinical translation.
    Circulation Research 01/2012; 110(7):927. · 11.02 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

872 Citations
123.26 Total Impact Points


  • 1996–2014
    • Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Dubai
      Dubayy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • 2010
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Division of Clinical Sciences
      Edinburgh, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 1992–2008
    • United Arab Emirates University
      • Veterinary Research Laboratory
      Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2005
    • Universität der Bundeswehr München
      Neibiberg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1995
    • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
      München, Bavaria, Germany